CAVERN and a Unified Approach to Support Realtime Networking and Persistence in Tele-immersion

Authors: Leigh, J.

Publication: EVL, PhD Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Graduate College, University of Illinois at Chicago

Teleimmersion is currently one of the most challenging areas of VR research. Networking adds a new dimension. For example, human-factors research in VR traditionally focuses on the development of more natural means of manipulating virtual objects and traversing virtual landscapes. However collaborative manipulation forces the consideration of how participants should interact with each other in a shared space, in addition to how co-manipulated objects should behave. There are also questions of how participants should be represented in the collaborative environment; how to effectively transmit non-verbal cues that real-world collaborators so casually use; how to best transmit video and audio via a channel that allows both public addressing as well as private conversations to occur; and how to sustain a virtual environment even when all its participants have left.

Teleimmersion poses new challenges to traditional areas of networking and databases as well. Teleimmersive environments (TIEs) require an unconventionally broad range of networking, database and graphics capabilities to realize and sustain. This vast range makes the rapid construction of rich TIEs difficult. Past attempts at building networking and database architectures for Teleimmersion have resulted in adhoc solutions that are specifically designed to solve a small range of problems and hence little reusability was possible. Nevertheless, from these early attempts patterns began to emerge. In particular: the realization that the application domain can significantly impact the kind of networking topology and protocols needed to distribute the data; a tighter integration between networking and databases is needed to support long term teleimmersive applications; and multiple separable software layers are needed to allow application developers to rapidly create new teleimmersive applications, as well as to integrate teleimmersive capabilities into existing non-teleimmersive applications.

Date: May 1, 1998

Document: View PDF
Software Infrastructure of CAVERNsoft - J. Leigh, EVL

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